This matters because it’s indicative of the moral crisis that’s destroying the Republican Party.
Things got real during a four hour long town hall for Republican Representative Tom MacArthur in New Jersey Wednesday evening. MacArthur dragged the Republican “healthcare” bill across the Freedom Caucus’ threshold refusal to climb on board by making the bill even more harmful for Americans. He is basically the man to blame for Republicans finally agreeing on a “healthcare” replacement bill.
A man whose wife had cancer but recovered from it took the microphone and refused to give it back until he told MacArthur, “You have been the single greatest threat to my family.” The man recounted his efforts to reach MacArthur through his office, and the utter failure of MacArthur’s staff and form letter responses. He talked about his wife worrying about every little new ache and pain, wondering if her cancer had come back.
“Man angrily tells MacArthur: ‘You have been the single greatest threat to my family.’ Says GOP bill was dead until MacArthur resurrected it,” Politico Pulse’s Dan Diamond shared over this video.
Man angrily tells MacArthur: "You have been the single greatest threat to my family." Says GOP bill was dead until MacArthur resurrected it. pic.twitter.com/U1O8vTwVBx
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 11, 2017
How many people does the MacAuthur Amendment impact? Watch this room of people stand up when asked to stand if they have a preexisting condition.
MacArthur asked about pre-existing protection changes. Audience: "If you have a pre-existing condition, stand up." Most audience on feet. pic.twitter.com/V4lhgGVX7q
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 10, 2017
Think it’s just Democrats who are upset? Not so much. CNN reported on a couple who voted for MacArthur in November. Kevin and Wendy Kapuscinski both voted for him, but after he tried to repeal and replace Obamacare, they vowed they wouldn’t do it again.
“He let me down. It’s a shame,” Kevin Kapuscinski told CNN.
This man gets a standing ovation for telling MacArthur, “Donald Trump is the greatest threat in our democracy in our lifetime.”
His list of reasons why included “I”m also concerned that there is something mentally wrong with Donald Trump.”
Attendee: "Donald Trump is the greatest threat in our democracy in our lifetime" for attacking press, judiciary, etc. Gets standing ovation. pic.twitter.com/CjDghsIbql
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 10, 2017
And this. Wow. This moment. Katie Jennings reported MacArthur asking for respect and an audience member replying, “Can I be disrespectful on behalf of all the people you’re going to kill.”
MacArthur ask for “respect.” Audience: “Can I be disrespectful on behalf of all the people you’re going to kill.”
— Katie Jennings (@katiedjennings) May 10, 2017
The thing is, this isn’t hyperbole. I’ve watched my own loved ones deal with preexisting conditions before Obamacare. They wouldn’t insure you if you had cancer until you passed a ten year mark. But even then, they wouldn’t cover anything related to cancer testing.
It’s a death sentence to bring back preexisting conditions as a reason for denial or higher premiums.
These are real people. They deserve to be represented by human beings who care about their lives. They deserve to be heard. They deserve the dignity of a response that actually addresses their concerns.
Republicans didn’t bother holding any town halls to discuss their amendment. They just passed it without even a CBO score. This is the beginning of the fallout.
This is the reality of so many Americans: Tens of thousands of people would die as a direct result of the Republican bill if it was passed as written because it allows preexisting conditions to be used as a way to deny coverage or raise premiums until people are priced out of the market. That is not pro-life. In fact, it’s the opposite.